‘What is LinkedIn’ 5 Secrets for Beginners

'What is LinkedIn?': 5 Secrets for Beginners

_What is LinkedIn_ 5 Secrets for Beginners

Subscribe to Articles

You might be asking yourself, “What is LinkedIn?”

Well, the easy answer is it’s a social media platform, but it’s so much more than that. LinkedIn is a business networking and job search platform. It’s a way for you to meet and connect with people with whom you might never get the chance to connect otherwise. It’s an opportunity for you to sell yourself for potential job offers. And it’s a place for relationship building that can last you a lifetime. 

There are more than 500 million users on LinkedIn. Think of all the opportunities for networking that gives you. However, if you’re new to the platform, it might seem a little overwhelming. So, where do you get started?

Here are our 5 secrets for beginners. Follow these steps and you’ll be a LinkedIn pro in no time.

Secret #1: Build a strong profile

The first thing you will do is create your profile. You’ll want people to know who you are and what you do so they will want to connect with you. 

You can start by personalizing your photo and banner image. Make sure you have a professional-looking photo. LinkedIn is a professional platform, so you probably don’t want to use the same photo you use for your Facebook profile for your LinkedIn profile. You can also upload a new image for your banner. This allows you to showcase your personality or your work a little more. 

You’ll also want to write an engaging summary about yourself. This is where people are going to learn who you are and whether or not they want to connect with you, so take some time to develop this section. There is a 2,000 character limit, which is plenty of room to share some valuable information about yourself. 

Adding in some SEO or industry-specific keywords into the summary section is a great way to help others find you through search, so try including a few of those if possible. 

Once you’ve created a strong profile, you’re ready to get started on LinkedIn.

Secret #2: Start growing your network

The next thing you will do is grow your network. 

As you want to grow your network thoughtfully, don’t add everyone that LinkedIn recommends for you. If you know some people within your network or industry who are already using the platform, then go ahead and add them. This will help to show the LinkedIn algorithm the type of people that you are interested in connecting with and will help to make their suggestions more personalized. 

You will want to send these new connections an invite with a personalized message. Use this opportunity to explain to them who you are and why you are interested in connecting with them. This allows you to start developing a relationship with them right from the beginning. 

Once you’ve added people you know, you can start looking outside your network to add new people who you might be of value to and who might be of value to you. 

The people within your LinkedIn network are going to be your key people when it comes to personal and professional growth, so make sure that the people you are connecting with are the right people for you.

Secret #3: Engage, engage, engage

Once your network is growing, it’s time to start engaging with those people and the people within their networks. The beauty of LinkedIn is that it doesn’t just show you the content that your connections share, but it also shows you the content that they are engaging with. 

This is a great opportunity for you to make even more connections based on your network connections. 

You will want to be active on LinkedIn every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes at a time. Take a couple minutes and look through your news feed to see what your network is sharing and engaging with. If something stands out to you, that is a chance for you to “like” it or leave a thoughtful comment. Take time to leave comments that are beneficial to the conversation; don’t just write “agree” or something that doesn’t add value. Your network will see that you aren’t being genuine and will know that you’re just trying to build visibility. 

The more you engage on the platform, the more your connections can get to see you and get to know you. If they see your name coming across their screen several times a day and you are adding value to all the conversations they see you conducting, this will make them want to engage with you even more.

Secret #4: Share your own content

As you become more comfortable on the platform, it’s time to start sharing some of your own content. 

Maybe you write blogs that you want to share, or maybe you just share a few articles that you think your connections will enjoy and find value in. Whatever the content is, make sure that it is relevant to the platform. Leave the memes and non-professional content for other social media platforms. Use LinkedIn to help you and your network grow professionally. 

LinkedIn is always changing, and with each new update comes new features that you can utilize to help you connect with your network. One of these new features that can produce great results and get a lot of engagement is polls. The great thing about polls is that once someone in your network answers the poll you created, the people within their network can also see the poll and respond. This is a fantastic way for you to share content that will generate tons of engagement and get your name in front of more people.

Secret #5: Keep developing those connections

Just because you’ve created your connections and you get comfortable on the platform, that doesn’t mean it’s time to stop or slow down. 

You will want to keep developing the connections that you’ve created. Keep engaging with their posts, keep sending them messages, and keep adding value to the relationship. This is the number-one way that you will get value from using LinkedIn. The more you nurture and grow your relationships, the more you can count on them in the future to help you find a job, a lead, or a reference. 

LinkedIn isn’t a hard platform to use, but it does take time to learn how to use it correctly. 

If you follow these 5 secrets, you then will be well on your way to becoming a Linkedin expert. 

Just remember, it takes time to develop relationships. You aren’t using the platform to see what others can do for you; you are using the platform to add value and see how you can help others.

What is a Value-Added Connector and How Does it Impact Business Networking?

What is a Value-Added Connector and How Does it Impact Business Networking?

What is a Value-Added Connector and How Does it Impact Business Networking

Subscribe to Articles

Have you heard the term “value-added connector”? If not, it’s OK, you might already be one and just don’t know it yet. If you aren’t quite a value-added connector just yet, then maybe you’ll work on becoming one after reading this. 


So, what is a value-added connector? Well, simply put, a value-added connector is someone who adds value to their connections. Pretty self-explanatory, right? There is more to it than that. A value-added connector is a person who knows that relationships are built on both giving and receiving, though they prefer to give much more than they receive. This is also a person who seeks to add value to everything they do. 


Being a value-added connector can greatly impact your business networking, but how exactly can you add value? For starters, you can add value through your conversations with your peers. If you can bring new thoughts and ideas to the conversation, you can add value for those within your network. Perhaps you can help your connections come up with a new way to think about a problem, or maybe you challenge an idea to help them work through it in a little more detail. Adding value to a conversation shows those inside your business network that you’re able to think outside the box and you don’t just stick with the status quo. This will prompt them to come to you when they have something they are working on and need advice. 


You can also add value to your network by introducing them to new connections. These connections don’t have to be potential clients. These can just be new connections to help them expand their own network. If you know someone within your network is looking for a person in the Human Resources field to bounce ideas off of, then you can introduce them to one of your HR connections. This situation is mutually beneficial for all of you. It helps both of your connections meet someone they might not have met previously, and it helps to show both of them that you’re able to add value to your relationships. This will help in the future because they will be more eager to assist you if you need a connection. 


Introducing connections within your business network to new clients is another way to add value to the relationship. If you work in the marketing field and one of your clients needs help designing their website, then maybe you know an excellent web designer you can connect them with. This is again mutually beneficial. Your client gets a beautifully designed new website, your web designer friend gets a new client, and you build up the level of trust with both of them. Your client will most likely continue using your services and will even recommend you to their own network, and the web designer will help to direct new clients to you when their own clients have a need that you can assist with. 


One final example of being a value-added connector comes from introducing those within your network to a product or service that you provide. This doesn’t mean you randomly reach out to people within your network and try to sell them something. This means you know they have a problem and you can provide them with a solution. An example of this would be a person in your network who is a restaurant owner mentioning that they need help with their social media marketing. If your expertise is in marketing, you can connect with them and offer them some general advice on improving their marketing efforts. You are still adding value because you see that they have a problem and you are attempting to help them solve it without asking for anything in return. Don’t try to sell your services, leave it up to them to decide if they want to expand on the relationship. 


It’s easy to see how being a value-added connector can help to improve your business networking. If your business connections see that you bring value, they are more likely to reach out to you and work with you. Networking isn’t just about connecting with people because you want them to do something for you; it’s about connecting with people to build genuine relationships and to help each other grow. When you are a value-added connector, you not only help yourself and your business grow, but you also help those within your network grow, too.

How to Benefit From Your LinkedIn Network

How to Benefit From Your LinkedIn Network

How to Benefit From Your LinkedIn Network

Subscribe to Articles

As a society, we use social media for several different reasons, but when you think of networking, there is one specific social media platform that comes to mind — LinkedIn. By its own definition, LinkedIn is a social networking site that allows you to manage your professional identity, build and engage with your professional network, and access knowledge, insights, and opportunities. 

To some LinkedIn is just a glorified job board, but to many others, it is where some of their strongest business connections have been formed. Whether you’re looking to connect with someone to find a new career or you’re seeking to make connections to build potential clients, LinkedIn is the place for you. So, what can you do to benefit from your LinkedIn network?

The first thing you’re going to need to do is set up your personal profile page. This page allows you to add as many personal and professional details as you want. At a minimum, you will want to add your most recent employment and any degrees or certifications you’ve received. This will help others in similar fields or backgrounds to connect with you. Once you’ve got your profile set up, then it’s time to start connecting. 

LinkedIn has a search tool that allows you to narrow down the field of people you can connect with. Are you looking for connections in the pharmaceutical field? Perhaps you’re looking to connect with people with former military backgrounds? There are search features available that let you find connections with specific jobs, companies, or even schools listed in their profiles.

As you narrow down these new connections, you’ll want to make sure you are including a personalized message. A new connection is more likely to accept your request when you introduce yourself and share why you’re reaching out to connect. This invitation also allows you to start a conversation. You can use this opportunity to start building a relationship. Do not use a personalized invitation to pitch your business. The opportunity for that might come along further down the road, but right now you’re going to want to just focus on developing relationships with your new connections. 


Once your potential connections start to accept your invitations, you will begin seeing their content appearing on your home screen. Use this as an opportunity to engage with them. Like or comment on their posts, but make sure it is a meaningful comment and not just a simple “I agree.” As you engage with these posts, you will show your connections that you are genuinely interested in what they have to say and you can add value to the conversation.

LinkedIn also allows you to search for hashtags that you can engage with. If you are interested in marketing, you can search for #marketing, #digitalmarketing, #socialmediamarketing, and so much more. This will allow you to see and engage with content from people outside your network. Having meaningful engagement with these posts provides you with the opportunity to expand your network even more. 


Once you’ve made some meaningful connections and you’ve started building those relationships, how can you use that to benefit you or your business? Well, that all depends on what you’re hoping to achieve. 


Are you looking for a job or a job reference? Then once you’ve built relationships with some people inside the network you’re hoping to find a career in, make it known that you are looking for a job. You can update your headline to state “seeking a career in _______,” you can share your resume in a post, or you can reach out to your network directly to ask if they have any leads for a potential job. You’ll want to be sure you have a good relationship with someone before you reach out to them to ask for a reference, though. A total stranger probably isn’t going to put their name behind someone they don’t know. 


If you’re using your LinkedIn network to get new clients, you’ll want to ensure your connections know what it is you do and who your target audience is. You’ll also want to ensure they know your relationship is mutually beneficial. If they can provide you with new clients, you will need to be able to provide them with something in return in the future. As you’re developing your relationship with your connections, you should go into it knowing that it isn’t a one-way street, and you need to be able to return the favor if and when they can help you. 


LinkedIn can be a very powerful networking tool, but you have to make sure you know how to use it properly. Your network can include hundreds of people, but if you aren’t working daily to grow these relationships, then you’ll never be able to capitalize off of those connections. It’s important to remember that relationships are a two-way street. If you don’t put the effort in, you won’t be able to get anything out of it. You can hope to reap the benefits from your LinkedIn network if you are only willing to put in the work and build relationships.